Simone Biles Doesn't Need Anyone to Tell Her Who Her Parents Are

Simone and Nellie Biles

Simone Biles is a magnificent athlete and American hero. But what everyone's focused on right now, thanks to a tone-deaf comment made by NBC's Al Trautwig, is that she and her sister were adopted. Now she gets to be a role model of another sort.


As a mother who also adopted my precious daughter from foster care, I want to assure you: Ron and Nellie Biles are Simone's parents regardless of what Trautwig or anyone else has to say. And by arguing on Twitter that "they are NOT her parents," he inadvertently did a favor to adoptive families everywhere by giving them another reason to root for Simone, who at 19 years old is already the most decorated gymnast of all time.

Trautwig has since apologized, for whatever that's worth.

It was really nice to see people jump to Simone's family's defense. Sure, Trautwig's insistence on reminding viewers "she was raised by her grandfather and his wife, and she calls them Mom and Dad" might sound like he's diminishing her parents' role in her life, but it's important to remember that for most non-traditional families, talking about how their family was started isn't some dark secret that's impolite to bring up -- it's just their reality.

It's probably just not that big of a deal to Simone. Adoptive kids and their families are more comfortable talking about their situation than most people ever realize.

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Here's what Simone had to say about it to NBC in one of her Olympics interviews: "There's not really a story to it -- they're just my mom and dad because they are my mom and dad, 'cause that's all I've ever known, I was so young."

No drama, no trauma, just a family.

Simones first GK photo shoot �����

A photo posted by Nellie biles (@nblouise110) on

I would also encourage both adoptive families like the Biles family and the people who care about them to make it a point to talk openly and frankly about it when given the opportunity. The more we do, the less stigma we'll all face -- and, just maybe, more people will be encouraged to explore adoption for themselves. There are so many kids who need someone to fight for them. And who better to be a walking advertisement for the limitless potential of kids who spend time in foster care than America's champion Olympic gymnast?

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Sure, as is the case with most foster kids, Simone's biological parents had issues that kept them from being able to care for their children. So Simone's biological grandfather Ron and his new wife Nellie adopted Simone and her little sister when they were just babies, and by all accounts have given them a wonderful life. According to TMZ, Simone's biological mother, Shannon, is now sober and maintains a relationship with her daughter.

Sounds like everyone worked together to come up with the very best situation for Simone, and she thrived. In fact, she led the US gymnastics team, along with her teammates Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian, to the gold medal in Rio.

So there's no reason to feel sorry for or defend the Biles family. Just see them and how incredible they are and take it from me that Simone knows exactly who her mom and dad are. And they've raised an American hero. Nice job.


Image via nblouise110/Instagram

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